Think First

I am a thinker. I think a lot, about a lot of things and most especially when emotions are involved. That may sound counter-intuitive, but I have learned that thinking with emotions is just a mistake. One tends to make rash decisions that are regrettable.

I don’t like to get into fights, I rarely raise my voice and rarely get angry. I guess I have a very slow fuse.  However, that does not mean I have no temper, no emotions. It just means I try to think things out before I act. I can be impetuous, but try to rein that in. I do, in fact, have a temper, and inevitably regret causing a ruckus when it finally does escape. If I do something rash, I try to apologize as soon as I gather my wits. I treasure my friends too much to let something stupid I’ve done stand between us.

So I try not to talk when I’m angry or hurt, I need to think things out before I can put words to what is happening. I tend to withdraw to think, and go over things in my mind, to see if I am being unreasonable or if I am being foolish trusting someone else who is being unreasonable.

On the other hand, once I have thought things out, I am rarely still angry. I have learned to let things go. Anger at someone else does not hurt them, it hurts me. A Buddhist quote says:

“Holding on to anger is like grasping a hot coal with the intent of throwing it at someone else; you are the one who gets burned.”

And I truly believe that. I don’t hold onto that coal, I let it go and let it burn itself out.

Lately someone I know is angry with me. I know that I’ve not done anything wrong, but something I said was one reason another person decided to behave poorly toward the first person, and the first person blames me. They refuse to speak to me and are grasping that coal with will, and all I can see is that they are being hurt by something that could so easily be dropped. I don’t think I did anything wrong, and the first person can’t be angry at the second person who is in authority over them. So the first person is mad at me.

I want to help, but I can’t. It is frustrating and saddening. I hope that eventually, when they DO drop that coal, they aren’t too hurt to remain angry with me.  I think my lack of a dramatic response (“O.M.G. I am so sad, I will be sad forever.”) is making them stay angry, but I can’t help it. I won’t be party to drama. I can only worry about me; I have no control over someone else’s actions.

Thank you, patient reader, for helping me get that off my chest. If you have any suggestions for dealing, please do let me know.

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